Mom Celebrates Birth With A Pic Of Her Newborn’s Umbilical Cord Spelling Out ‘LOVE’

Mom Celebrates Birth With A Pic Of Her Newborn’s Umbilical Cord Spelling Out ‘LOVE’

Angela Markus

A picture tells a thousand words, but in this instance, just one will suffice. One mom shared a striking image of a newborn baby with his placenta and umbilical cord spelling out the word “love.”

The 30-year-old mother, photographer Emma Jean from Brisbane, said that she decided to share the black and white image on social media to raise awareness of a “beautiful and sacred,” but little-known, Maori cultural practice called “whenua.”

She captured the shot of Harper Hoani Spies just an hour and a half after he was born on January 2nd. Jean spoke to her intention that was simply to draw attention to the practice. Whenua is the Maori word for both placenta and land which refers to the ancient tradition of burying a newborn’s placenta after their birth.



She captioned the image, “Welcome earthside sweet little Harper.”

Jean also said, “I decided to take this image of Harper as I wanted to show what a physiological birth looks like as most people have never seen a baby still connected to their placenta.”  She added that the Western world has an altogether different attitude to childbirth, saying, “I knew it was important to talk about the Maori tradition in my post, as the placenta is not something that is appreciated or honored in the Western culture.”



Harper was born at home to Jolene Spies, from New Zealand and dad Johann Spies, from South Africa. Harper’s placenta will now be returned to the land and buried on his grandfather’s farm in the Bombay Hills of Auckland, New Zealand, under a native Tortora tree.

The Maori tradition to bury the whenua and pito, the umbilical cord, represents the lifelong spiritual and physical affinity between a newborn baby and Papatuanuku, Mother Earth.



What do you think about the tradition?

SHARE the love and pass it on.


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